S2, Ep 207 – “I Know My Soul”
My Lord. Damn near everybody’s having an identity crisis; and Ernest is pretty much at the center of it all, even though he’s long gone to glo’ry. Okay, “identity crisis” may not be the best phrase, but there’s an inner struggle that all my Bordelon cousins are in the midst of. I feel like they all need to sit in a circle while Future serenades them with a family friendly, drug-free rendition of “Mask Off.” And Nova can pass her magical weed around. Everyone can admit they weren’t the children they wanted to be to Ernest and they can figure out how to move on. Like, kumbaya and such, y’all! Shit!
It starts with Ralph Angel. Instead of seeing himself, he is only focused on pointing out Nova and Charley’s “faults.” Convinced that his sisters are ganging up on him, he has written a check I’m not sure his ass can cash. He called Charley out. Maybe if she would’ve come to see what was going on when Ernest asked, she could’ve helped. Then there’s Nova. She was too busy on the other side of town, unconcerned about the happenings on the farm. Nova was quick to remind him that he couldn’t speak on her absence because much of the time, he wasn’t around either. He was locked up. I saw no lie there. While I understand Ralph Angel’s frustrations and his point, he’s letting his emotions fuel his decision to claim the farm as his and only his and to go it alone now.
Nova was tired of talking about the invisible letter. She wanted to see it. It was thoughtfully written and clear that Ernest wanted Ralph Angel to have the farm, but Nova and Charley weren’t so sure. Charley wondered why Ernest never took the letter to
his lawyer, prompting Nova to chime in and say he was probably waiting for Ralph Angel to get his life together before he made it official. It was clear to them that Ernest wrote the letter right after Ralph Angel “got out.” That was when he was hopeful his son was soon to be on the right track. The sisters also pointed out the fact that Ernest never told anyone about the addendum to his will. Ralph Angel found it in a lock box, for goodness sake!
Of course this further angered Ralph Angel. The way he saw it, Ernest didn’t just see his mistakes. He saw his potential – unlike them. (This is the point where I checked out again regarding any sympathy toward Cousin Ralph Angel. I need him to stop being such a victim all the time. His sisters were only speaking from a place of truth.) Charley urged him to think logically. There’s a difference between wanting to do something and actually having the means to do that “something.”
Many viewers argue that Blue is the glue for the Bordelons, but I have to say Aunt Vi is the super glue. Her separate conversations with her nieces and nephew are proof of that.
- Nova – Aunt Vi followed her into the bedroom and asked why she was really so emotional about the farm being left to Ralph Angel. After all, she never cared much about it. Nova then revealed that she felt like Ernest was judging her and punishing her by cutting her out of the farm. She referenced how he constantly asked her for grandbabies for as long as she can remember. But when Charley and Ralph Angel had children, he stopped asking. She was thinking he’d finally accepted her for who she is, but not being part-owner of the farm has her feeling some type of way. It’s obvious to me that “who she is” is a loaded phrase. I’ll be waiting to hear even more about Nova and her backstory.
- Charley – She was shocked that Aunt Vi knew about the letter and never told her. Aunt Vi told her she never asked to be in the middle of this. Charley recalled how Aunt Vi always included her when no one else did. She didn’t have a room at her dad’s house when she came for the summers as a child, but Aunt Vi made sure she had a room at her place. She didn’t treat her as Ernest’s “other” child. Charley felt like since she’d been back, though, everything was about Ralph Angel. Everyone was coddling him and breaking their necks to help him, when the truth is he earned his place in jail/prison. He did something to get there. She wondered what she’d done to deserve what she’s going through and when someone is going to help her. Classic example of “Check on your strong friend.” I wanted to wrap my arms around the screen and hug Cousin Charley.
- Ralph Angel – Throughout this episode, she dropped little bits of wisdom in Ralph Angel’s lap. They didn’t have any real heart to heart because he wasn’t ready to receive any of her words. Besides, she told him not to stir up trouble and bring Ernest’s letter to light. They’d already talked about how this could play out. He made the choice to claim the land anyway.
Jack Duvall, a farmer Remy knows, was at the mill. Though he wasn’t under contract, he’d brought his cane over and was ready to grind. Remy wanted to go off a verbal agreement and vouched for Jack, but Charley wasn’t hearing that. She wanted the paperwork in order. So, she asked Darla to head to the mill to prepare the contract. Ralph Angel stopped her, saying she needed to stay with him. Nova chimed in, hatefully saying Darla could go and that she wasn’t family anyway. This was a drastic contrast to her treatment of Darla earlier in the season. Hell, I don’t recall her being mean to her last season even. Anyway, there was a tug of war with no rope involved. Charley would say go, and again, Ralph Angel would tell her to stay. Aunt Vi even tried to speak to the (nonexistent) logical side of her nephew, basically saying the drama they were experiencing over the farm had nothing to do with Darla’s job. His response? He’d “never heard of no paper emergency.” Um… Okay. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. He also never heard of wearing a mask to commit a robbery either, but I digress. If that wasn’t enough, this joker said the baby-boyist (*new word alert*) shit I’ve ever heard. He didn’t want Darla to leave because Charley and Nova were gonna gang up on him. Um… in what way? Verbally? Darla barely speaks. When she does, it’s softly. Physically? Was Darla his bodyguard? That’s my homegirl, but she weighs 102 lbs soaking wet and wearing ankle weights.
Go best friend!! I’m so proud of Darla. She made the decision to do what Charley, her boss, asked her to do. Before she left, Ralph Angel followed her outside and reminded her that he had her back when everyone in the house were talking big shit about her. He must have forgotten that he, too, was talking the same shit in Season 1. He was HORRIBLE to her in the first episode. Still, he felt her leaving was the equivalent of taking Charley’s side. Darla then broke it down. She works for Charley. She took the job because they didn’t have money. They didn’t have money because she was fired from the parking lot job. Oh, and she lost that job because she left early to go scrub white flies off the cane at his farm. She’d already proven her loyalty and didn’t appreciate him putting her in the situation where she felt like doing her job was betraying him.
As Charley tried one more time to reason with Ralph Angel, things fell apart – maybe to the point of no return. He’s so combative. When asked how he’ll get the coins to handle the financials, he said he’d do what he had to do. (The hell does that mean?) When Charley pointed out that he didn’t have the know-how just yet, he said he was going to take classes at LSU so he’d know what was necessary. Charley asked how he planned to work, take classes, and run the farm. He was one man. That was pretty much impossible. He needed her help. Aunt Vi showed up and agreed. Nova showed up and popped off again. She said he was given the farm because he’d messed up the most and in true Ernest fashion, no matter how badly baby boy f’d up, he still was rewarded. Tea was spilled regarding their mom’s passing and how Ernest didn’t commit to her until Ralph Angel came along. Insults were thrown around the room like dodgeballs. There was no getting through to Ralph Angel. He said they were just mad because he knows they see him as a dumb convict. (Why would they be mad at that, though?) And not to be rude, Ralph Angel, but…
…you do dumb convict shit, boo.
Then came the most powerful image of the episode in my opinion: Ernest’s letter situation among Blue’s toys on the table in front of Ralph Angel. #BabyBoy
Darla stopped by the farm unannounced to get Blue. Ralph Angel answered the door with an attitude, of course, as shown in his body language. Darla did much of the talking. It was cool if he was still pissed at her, but she wasn’t going to let that keep her away from her son. And if he didn’t want her to spend time with Blue in the house, she’d take him swimming. I think Ralph Angel was surprised that she wasn’t there to fall to her knees and kiss his ass. Though he was fine with Darla spending time with Blue, the status of their relationship is up in the air. That was very clear when he stood there, stubborn as a bull, and Darla shook her head and said she’d wait for Blue in the car. Sobriety does a body good. Her strength is refreshing.
In the midst of “controlling the narrative,” Charley has pissed two men off. Well, Davis is pissed. Remy is side-eyeing her. Thinking he was doing something thoughtful and charming, Davis gave Charley an ice cream maker as a housewarming gift. It was awkward because it actually had some sentimental value. He said he’d always felt bad for having her take it off their wedding registry, so TADA! (If only he would have been that thoughtful with his penis.) Since he was there, she shared with him that she was disclosing their divorce in the feature she was doing with Ben. He wanted to know why she could always go against their agreements whenever she felt like it.
Then there was Remy. He warned her that Ben was snooping around for divorce details, and she told him she’d told Ben about the divorce already. This seemed to bother Remy in a Davis kinda way. He told her how Ernest always described her as “thoughtful,” and though he interpreted the description in the word’s literal meaning, he wondered if her dad was actually calling her calculating. He ran off a list of things he questioned her “thoughtfulness” about. It included the mill, the farmers, and him. Charley couldn’t believe him, and neither could I. He tried it. She politely asked him to get the hell out of her office. Expeditiously.
I do believe the men’s words stuck with her, though. When conducting his interview, Ben asked her what her father would think of her transition into the world of agriculture, she searched for a response, but finally admitted that she doesn’t know. Seems the narrative may no longer be under control.
We’ll find out next week during the midseason finale!